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Ranking Cowboys’ must-see games on 2023 schedule: Rematch with Aaron Rodgers, showdowns vs NFC finalists loom

Tony Pollard 2023 NFL free agency: Return to Cowboys among top landing spots for running back

The Dallas Cowboys under head coach Mike McCarthy have been winning in the regular season like it’s the 1990s again: consecutive seasons with 12 victories in 2021 (12-5) and 2022 (12-5), with quarterback Dak Prescott playing 12 or more games each season. The last two seasons mark the first consecutive Dallas seasons with 12 or more wins since the 1992-1995 seasons, when the Cowboys won three Super Bowls in four years with Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin leading the way. 

The sour element of their consistent contention the last two seasons is the way they have both concluded: with losses to the San Francisco 49ers — in the NFC wild-card round in 2021 and in the NFC divisional round in 2022. That has extended their NFL record streak of consecutive playoff appearances without a conference championship game to 12 in a row. 

However, owner Jerry Jones began made some smart moves this offseason, trading late-round picks for quality veterans that can plug key roster roles. He did so in the deals to acquire wide receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Both are already making an impact on their new Cowboys teammates in their roles as the team’s number two receiver and number two cornerback. These moves were made on top of retaining just about all of their key defensive players from a unit that allowed the fifth-fewest points (20.1 points per game) in the NFL in 2022. The front office then checked off most of their remaining needs in a solid 2023 NFL Draft haul. 

The reward for the Cowboys’ recent success is one of the top-five most difficult schedules in 2023. The fun of such a gauntlet is plenty of primetime and spotlight games against some of the NFL’s top teams and biggest stars. Here’s a breakdown of the five most thrilling Cowboys games coming up this season, must-watch events for even neutral observers who simply enjoy high-quality football. 

5. Week 6 at Los Angles Chargers (“Monday Night Football”)

Date and time: Monday, Oct 16 at 8:15 p.m. ET | Channel: ESPN/ABC (FuboTV)

It’s the Kellen Moore revenge game! After four years of Moore running the Cowboys’ offense, three under head coach Mike McCarthy, the head coach’s desire to call plays again like he did with the Green Bay Packers led to Moore’s departure. He wasn’t unemployed for long as Chargers head coach Brandon Staley quickly handed Moore the keys to the…

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